| Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of ensuring your web site pages are placed higher in the search engine search results than your competitors. Google, MSN, Yahoo, and DMOZ are the source of the majority of daily searches on the Internet.
There are two basic types of search results - organic or natural, and paid. Getting listed on the first page is important as most people who search the web won't look further than the first two or three pages of results to find you.
You can get high placement through the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns such as Google AdWords, Yahoo Sponsored Search, or Microsoft's adCenter. If you outbid your competitors, your site can get placed on the first page of the results.
Organic/natural search results are when your web site ranks on its own without paying for it. Getting your web site placed in the top ten search results for your targeted keywords will result in increased traffic to your web site along with increased sales for your business.
|Natural SEO Only Requires Good Logic|
| Optimization of your web site for search results is not complex or a mystery. It only requires some basic understanding of what the search engines feel will please those using their service the most. Many calling themselves SEO experts depend on tricks they read somewhere instead of using realistic logic.
Basically, search engines want the most popular sites, which include the most keyword matches for the search, listed at the top. We are going to concentrate on how to accomplish that without resorting to any form of cheating or spamming. If you don't see a technique covered here, do not use it.
|The Real World|
| You do not have to agree with everything you read in this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Manual. It is not based on any "specifications" or "suggestions" by academic groups. What's covered here is based on over ten years of careful research, testing, and dozens of profitable commercial web sites that enjoy front page search engine listings. My fingers type HTML like I am writing a letter to a friend and I can read it like a book. I've also been programming for over thirty years and I understand how the search engines must code things.
Your suggestions for expanding or changing the contents here are more than welcome.
| Nobody can guarantee first page rankings on the search engines, though many claim to. It's just not possible. With good legitimate content and site structure, you can expect improvement. It's not about tricking the search engines, it's about working with them.|
|Persistence and Patience|
| Patience and persistence are SEO requirements. Keep in mind: SEO takes time. You will not see improvements overnight and some changes may require months. Don't get discouraged if your site traffic does not jump right away. Don't take the steps covered here once and forget about them. Make it a practice to review these tips every time you update your site.
Remember, "Content is King." No matter how often search engines change their algorithms it always will be true. Keep adding original keyword related content that is entertaining and useful to your site visitors.
|Solid Page Coding|
| Good SEO requires rock solid and validated coding. You stay as close as you can to the basic HTML 3.2 elements. You do not use Java Script or CSS in your pages any more than absolutely necessary. It pushes the content that much further down the file and requires extra interpretation layers. What slows down pages for your visitors also slows down the search engine crawlers trying to index your site pages. They will not wait around.|
| There should not be anything whacked off when people have their browser minimized or their monitor set for 800 wide. Even if set for 1024, if they have their favorites panel active, the panel for web sites is 800 wide. 800 wide web pages that end up orphaned on wider screens look unprofessional to me. If you want people to print your web pages, the browsers only print the first 800 pixels.
Forcing people to use your choices indicates you don't care about them very much.
|Do It Yourself?|
| Much of what we cover here for free in this manual you can probably do yourself. However, to do all of it well you need to be able to do HTML coding in Notepad or a similar editor. That also means having commercial quality hosting with FTP and avoiding the quickie Do-It-Yourself site builders.
If you are going to hire assistance, by all means use what you read here to help find someone with the proper skills.
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